tv Face the Nation CBS September 25, 2011 10:30am-11:00am EDT
>> schieffer: today on "nation the nation" did i hear that right? in a weekend of stunning political developments, barack obama tells african-americans to rein in the complaining and start marching. >> stop complaining. stop grumbling. stop crying. >> schieffer: and rick perry and mitt romney may be on the cover of "newsweek" but in a real shocker herman cain wins the florida straw poll. in the same old same old department another congressional gridlock puts financial aid for recent disaster victims in peril. we'll talk about all of it with the chair of the democratic party debbie wasserman shultz, her republican counterpart reince preibus, mark zandi the chief economist of moody's, our
chief white house correspondent norah o'donnell and political analyst john dickerson who was on the scene at that big republican debate in florida. we have a full plate on "face the nation." captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news "face the nation" with bob schieffer. >> schieffer: good morning again. congresswoman debbie wasserman shultz is in florida lauderdale this morning. reince preibus is in hot springs california. let's get right to the news. unemployment among african- americans, of course, is is now nearly 17%. that has caused african-american leaders to complain and complain loudly that the president is is not doing enough to change it. well last night at a big dinner here in washington sponsored by the congressional black caucus, the president responded. did he ever! here's part of what he said. >> i don't have time to feel
sorry for myself. i don't have time to complain. i'm going to press on. i expect all of you to march with me and press on. take off your bedroom slippers. put on your marching shoes. shake it off. stop complaining. stop grumbling. stop crying. we are going to press on. we've got work to do. >> schieffer: so debbie wasserman shultz i have to ask you just flatly was that good politics? how is that going to shore up his african-american base and i guess the other part, is that going to help to get independent voters in the democratic pool this time? >> first of all very quickly congratulations on your 20th anniversary. i was at the dinner last night, heard the speech, was in the midst of the crowd, and they gave the president thunderous applause. the crowd at the congressional black caucus annual gala understands that the president has brought us from the brink of disaster where republicans
undergeorge w. bush had brought us to the precipice of economic disaster to now a point where we have the beginning of a turn-around. we've created 2.4 million jobs in the private sector over the last 18 months. we've got more to do? and president obama has appealed to the congressional black caucus and the attendees last night to close ranks, stand behind him, press on to make sure that we can continue to push for things like passage of the american jobs act. that's what we need congressional republicans to do. we need to come together as can country. we need to focus on a shot in the arm that the american jobs act would represent. that's what he was trying to impress upon them last night. >> schieffer: mr. priebus, what are your thoughts on that? >> debbie has a real problem this morning. her problem is she can't escape the facts on where we are in this american economy. the facts are, bob, that presidential elections are decided by the american people
asking themselves the question as to whether or not they're better off today than they were three or four years ago. here are the facts. unemployment is at 9.1%. we've added $4 trillion to the national deficit with $2.4 million people are unemployed. my question to the chairwoman is, can she point to one economic statistic in this country that barack obama has made better? and she can't. can she name one. >> schieffer: all right. here's your chance. >> one. >> that's ludicrous. yes, i can point to the fact that before barack obama was inaugurated we were bleeding $750...750,000 jobs a month. now you fast forward. that was thanks to the bush administration that focused on making sure that we had two wars totally unpaid for that plunged us from a record surplus to a record deficit. passeded a prescription drug plan that while good for seniors unpaid for. two bush era tax cuts for the
wealthiest most fortunate americans unpaid for. the deficit.... >> bob, people are.... >> please let me answer your question. >> people are hurting in this country. >> schieffer: let her finish. >> now two-and-a-half years later, we have turned the corner. we're no longer dropping like a rock. now we are moving forward. we've had 18 straight months of job growth, added 2.4 million jobs to the private sector. month after month. passed the american recovery and reinvestment act. saved the american automobile industry which every republican candidate for president would have let go down the tubes. >> schieffer: ms. wasserman shultz, that and more. quick response. >> it sounds like okay bob it sounds like the. >> i'm sorry i could keep going. >> it sounds like the new slogan is no longer hope and change. it's, hey, it could have been worse. great bumper sticker, debbie. i hope it works for you. but the reality is that americans are hurting in this country and the reason why you're losing new york nine
and all across the country, the president is upsidedown in your home state of florida. he's upsidedown in all the battle ground states. guess what? he's upsidedown in california. >> that's actually not true. >> and in massachusetts because americans understand that this president hasn't cut it. he's promised the world. he's delivered nothing. >> schieffer: all right. i want to just quickly shift because i want to ask you about big news down in debbie wasserman shultz home state, mr. priebus, that happened last night. businessman herman cain pulled off an upset in the latest straw poll down there in florida. he walloped the frontrunner for the republican nomination, rick perry. who had campaigned hard down there. and made a big point of saying he was campaigning hard and mitt romney who didn't officially compete. mr. cain makes a great speech but i don't see any particular segment of the republican party that has been behind him mr. priebus.
what does that say about the republican party... republican field that herman cain won a straw poll down there? >> bob, look, i mean a lot of different candidates are winning these straw poll. herman won a couple days ago. you know, michele bachmann won in iowa. polling shows perry and romney back and forth. rick santorum won a straw poll in pennsylvania. he know he's from pennsylvania. here's the deal. we're going to have a rigorous debate in this country on our side of the aisle. we're going to put up an articulate intelligent alternative to this president. i think that people are hungry in this country not necessarily for all republican answers or all democratic answers. they're hungry for real authentic people to lead this country. guess what they have. they have a record to measure this president on and his record is.... >> bob. >> is solydra. >> bob, i would like. >> schieffer: mr. priebus, do you think this suggests somebody else ought to get in the republican field maybe chris christie of new jersey?
>> you know, listen, i said before, look, i'm happy with the field. i think it's a great field. you know what? yes, is is there a time for a nomination process technically to still get in? sure there is. it gets harder and harder as you get closer to iowa. the fact of the matter is we're having the debate on our side of the aisle. the horsepower, the excitement is on the republican side of the aisle. the reason why is because people in this country want to save this country economically and this president isn't doing the trick. >> schieffer: congresswoman? >> bob, since i'm from florida let me weigh in on that. it doesn't much matter. >> where the president is upsidedown, too. >> excuse me. it doesn't much matter which one of the republicans get nominated because they're all the same. this will be a very stark contrast. they are all embracing and bear hugging the tea party. moving to the right they can't move to the right far enough. no matter which candidate is nominated by the republican party, they all favor privatizing social security which would pull the safety
net out from under our seniors and favor ending medicare as we know it and embrace the ryan plan to turn it into a voucher program. they all are wrong on on immigration reform when it comes to hispanics in the states. as a floridian i can assure you, mr. priebus, that when it comes to the dramatic con contrast between barack obama and his notion that we should preserve social security and medicare, that we should make sure that we acknowledge that there is an immigration problem and we should come together around comprehensive reform.... >> bob, meet me respond to that. >> excuse me. not until i finish. my state will go in the win column for president obama again because the extremists in the tea party control your party. this is the second debate in a row now. >> we only have 12 minutes here, debbie. >> ...that you can embrace the candidates that are there now because you know all of them are wrong for america. >> schieffer: one last response from you, mr. priebus. >> you bet. here is the problem. in spite of all those words her problem is that in spite of all of this hyperbole, the
president is now losing in florida. and you know you could talk hypotheticals all day long. guess what. debbie and the party and the congressional committee and the democratic side tried all of this in new york nine in a heavily democratic district and guess what. they lost. so this has already been testedd in a democratic district. these talking points have been tested. they're imploding. hispanics are on board. african-americans are leaving the president. >> schieffer: i could just let the both of you just keep on going here. you're talking together. separately and so. thank you both for being with us this morning. obviously. >> god bless you, bob. >> thank you. >> schieffer: the conversation to be continued. back with a little perspective from the round table. ♪ [ female announcer ] the road is not exactly
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joining us now all in the studio mark zandi who is the chief economist for moody's analytics, white house correspondent norah o'donnell and our political analyst john dickerson who was our man on the scene at the big republican debate in florida. mr. zandi, i want to start with you. there was another big drop 700 points i think it was in the stock market last week. the news was pretty grim. about the financial situation of the european governments. do you think we're in recession? >> no. we're still growing. but the recession risks are very high. given what happened in the stock market last week, given what's going on in europe i'd put the odds of recession in the next six, nine months at almost even. you can see the risks from the job market. we're barely creating any jobs at all. at this rate of job growth unemployment will rise. that will undermine confidence. people will pull back.
we'll be in recession. so this is not a sustainable situation. we have to turn this around. >> schieffer: s&p, of course, downgraded the u.s. financial securities the last time around in part because their analysts said politics was tarnishing our financial credibility in this country. i point out that moody's, your company did not. you're not one of the raters. you're the economist there. but do you see this new gridlock because now we have congress in yet another gridlock. the government is on a precipice again of having to be shut down because they can't agree on a financial plan. the worst part of all is that unless they reach some agreement this week it's my understanding that the aid to disaster victims from the recent weather disasters could find themselves cut off from disaster relief. do you think that increases the risk that we may see another downgrade? >> yeah, sure. absolutely. i mean, i think the political
vitriol, the spectacle that occurred here in washington this spring and summer did tremendous damage. i mean, i think the economy at the beginning of the year had a lot of potential. we are creating a couple hundred thousand jobs per month. unemployment was coming down. then we went through this mess. it just eviscerated confidence. people were already nervous because of what we've all been through. it's been very difficult. but this just undermined it so completely. we've... we're not pulling back yet. that would be recession. if businesses started laying off more workers, that would be recession. they have certainly frozen. it's because of the political environment. the key to turning this around in the next few months is policy-makers need to get it together. they need to act. federal reserve needs to act. fortunately they did last week. congress and the administration have to get it together. >> schieffer: what do you see as the politics of this, john? >> well, the politics is that, you know, you listen to the debate we just had and you look at the way people think about in country, they don't
like what the president or congress is doing. we have a situation or useded to have where members of congress people would say we don't like congress but we like our individual members of congress. that's not so much the case anymore. people are in an unfocused angry mood. that's attach to go the president but it's also attaching to candidates. they are unhappy with the prospects of what's out there. they look to washington and all they get is more unhappy. >> schieffer: the noted political analyst charlie cook said we may be reaching a point here where it's just throw out everybody that the voters recognize their name on the ballot. do you see a big upheaval coming here? >> absolutely. you look at the republican race right now. i mean, if you're a politician herman cain, you know, he won the straw poll. why? because he's not a politician. that means people like his message. he's not associated with washington. he doesn't have a record. rick perry has a problem with immigration. mitt romney has a problem with health care. in orlando voters mention twos
those two things. people find something wrong with each politician which means they have a reason to get rid of them. party loyalty isn't what it used to be. if you're associated with washington it's a bad thing to be. >> schieffer: nora, i have to ask you why did the president make this speech? we know he's been getting aate low of heat from his base, his core support. african-americans. but telling them to stop crying, stop whining. that's pretty strong stuff. why was he compelled to do that? >> incredibly strong. i think this white house has heard from african-american leaders and others that they feel like they've been taken for granted. so the white house is trying to turn the page and trying to give them more attention. maxine watters publicly said we're tired. emmanuel cleaver who is the chairman of the congressional black caucus he called that budget compromise satan's sandwich. remember that? clearly the president has not been trying to court them behind the scenes but publicly saying stop crying, stop complaining. this white house is concerned.
it's not just a problem with independents they're having. they're having a problem with their base to some degree that feels left out. if you look at the segments of the country that have been hardest hit by the economy, african-americans, hispanics, unmarried women, young people. those are all part of the president's base. they're really having a tough time with this economy. >> schieffer: john, i want to go back to this debate. it was just fascinating that the republicans had down there in florida. bill krystal, who i would think is one of the leading republican strategists and commentators on republican affairs talking about rick perry in this debate said-- these are his words-- no frontrunner in a presidential field has ever had as weak a showing as rick perry. it was close to what he called a disqualifying two hours for perry. some of the pundits are now calling rick perry texas toast. is it that bad for perry? >> it's bad for two reasons. on the style points he was
bumbling. his answers were unclear. there was a foreign policy question on pakistan. he seemed to be just kind of making it up as he went along. that stuff is only bad in an appearance sense. in a policy sense he was on the defensive on a number of fronts. the biggest problem was immigration. he supported a measure in texas to ahow children of undocumented workers to get lower in-state opinion. he said i'm a truth teller. i'm going to tell you what i believe. when he defended it he says anybody who thinks these children should be penalized through no fault of their own, i think you don't have a heart. you can disagree on immigration. he attacked a lot of people who care about immigration, attacked them in their heart. what he's done is given them something to be angry about and talk to their friends and say did you hear what rick perry said and repeat this line. that creates a larger group of people who are angry. that's a problem because it continues on. that's one of his biggest problems after this debate. >> schieffer: nora, they must have been delighted aate the white house. they don't get much good news over there lightly lately.
they must have been delighted. >> one senior advise tore the president said to me for a guy who runs with a gun he can't seem to get it out of his holster meaning ricker per eve. i think they see these debates as definitional. they claim that this is going to motivate their own base and even motivate independents. so they're sort of sitting back and watching the republicans duke it out and saying this is actually good. it helps define and helps the president who hasn't had an opponent and tried to use congress as his foil. now the republicans not only seem to be having a problem but also the republican leadership seems unhappy with the field. >> that bill krystal article you mentioned gets to the idea that they look at the president and they see somebody who is so vulnerable, they say, you know, this is our shot. we've got nobody up there who can do it. so mr. krystal was asking for chris christie the governor of new jersey to come jump in the race. that's a bit of a pipe dream. they're in the business of pipe dreams because they look at the candidates out there.
they've got a problem with each of them. this is a fight in the republican party between the candidates who might be electable beating barack obama and those who are true believers and the party is sorting itself out. who they're going to pick. >> schieffer: you know, i don't know if chris christie is or isn't going to run. but i am sure hearing a lot of republicans saying we wish he would run. would he be a tough candidate for the president, nora? >> i think so. i think they're most worried still about mitt romney because mitt romney as a general election candidate could have more appeal to independent voters. there have been some in the white house that have long said they doubted that rick perry could get out of a primary. we'll have to wait and see. i think rick perry is better suited in terms of passion and style with the current republican primary electorate. clearly than mitt romney. but he is bumbling in the debates. >> schieffer: if you had to make just a guess-- and we'll label it as nothing more than
that, john-- do you think chris christie is going to get in? >> boy, i don't know. you know, there is inklings that he's maybe inching back towards. he said i'm not getting in. the thing everybody should keep in mind is rick perry is is showing us how hard it to just jump in a race. it is is a grueling thing. you get attacked all day long. you have a lot of people who want everything from you. when you start getting specific, it turns out you start disappointing people. >> schieffer: we have to let it go right there. i'll be back in a minute with some final thoughts. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. executor of efficiency. you can spot an amateur from a mile away... while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. now this...will work.
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>> schieffer: finally today when lamar alexander the jeanne yell senator from tennessee announced last week that he would give up his position in the republican senate leadership at the end of the year, it was a rare event. people here seldom give up power. his reason was also a little out of the ordinary. he said it would liberate him to work on issues he cared the most about. you can't really blame him. the gridlock runs so deep, even those involved can't stand it anymore. alexander is a dyed in the wool republican but he still
practices a skill that's become almost as rare as giving up power. time and again, he's worked on finding compromised with democrats to break legislative log jams. he told ruth markus of the "washington post," if you can get 100% republican solutions, i'd do it. but you need 60 votes to pass anything in the senate so you have to find coalitions. it is not exactly a reassuring comment on government when someone feels they have to leave a leadership position and relinquish power to get anything done. but such is the sad state of government these days. i wish liberated senator alexander well. who knows. with the mess we're in, he may be on to something. back in a minute. [ wind howling ]
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and countless tires. which drivers never actually check because they're busy, checking email. this is why we engineered a car that makes 2,000 decisions every second. the new audi a6 is here. the road is now an intelligent place. ♪ >> schieffer: and that's it for us today. thank you a lot for watching. we'll see you right here next week on face the nation. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org [ male announcer ] how can power consumption in china,